After a tumultuous history of protests, arrests and community pushback, the redevelopment of the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) campus in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, into a luxury community is moving full steam ahead. Now named River Park, renderings for the development’s final tower, 5 River Park, have been revealed via New York YIMBY.
Romines Architecture PLLC is designing the 91,000-square-foot tower. Split into two volumes, the 15-story tower will hold 30 condo units atop a lot-spanning ground floor lobby and parking area.
As originally reported in 2016, owner Fortis Property Group had opted to build out the former LICH site as-of-right, forgoing a rezoning that would have required the company to build affordable housing in exchange for denser development. Now, as shown in the project’s master plan, Fortis has moved ahead with plans to build five new market-rate residential buildings throughout River Park, and retrofit the landmarked Polhemus Building and nearby townhouses into luxury housing.
As part of the first phase, which is ongoing, the Polhemus Building, an 1897 Beaux Arts “hospital skyscraper” and part of the hospital there until its closing in 2008, is undergoing an exterior renovation and interior redesign by BKSK Architects and will eventually hold 17 condo units.
The second phase is the most contentious part of the redevelopment, as the five planned towers will bring hundreds of high-priced units to the neighborhood. A different architecture firm has designed each, as Fortis wants River Park to be seen as a “new neighborhood” rather than a cluster of residences. Information on 3 and 4 River Park has yet to be released.
FXCollaborative (formerly FXFowle) is designing the 15-story 1 River Park at 350 Hicks St., which will hold 48 apartments ranging from studios to penthouses. While no renderings have been released yet, the building will have an outdoor pool, gardens, and something called an “amenity pavilion.”
Hill West Architects will be designing the tallest of the River Park towers, as 2 River Park, or 339 Hicks St., will top out at 440 feet tall. While the exact number of apartments included in the complex hasn’t been made public yet, a rooftop garden will be available for residents that will offer sweeping views across the East River into Manhattan. The design fully plays up the site’s proximity to the river, as Fortis notes it “is composed of a strong masonry tower acting as the ‘mast,’ supporting the ‘sail,’ a west-facing glass screen that curves like the headsail on a yacht.”
Fortis has described the design of 5 River Park as contextual, stating that it uses “a palette of traditional materials common to Cobble Hill, including brick, limestone and elaborate metalwork.” The shorter half of the building will also be clad in traditional brick in contrast to the more modern, dark-grey concrete of the taller half behind it. Construction on 5 River Park is ongoing.
It remains to be seen where a healthcare facility run by the NYU Langone Medical Center will be relocated to; the continuing operation of the center, with its freestanding emergency room, must be included by Fortis as part of a settlement reached with the city. Construction in the area is expected to finish in 2020.